State boys track: Woelber leads strong effort for Pipestone Area
ST. PAUL -- Ever since he watched his sister, Bree, win state track and field championships before she graduated in 2011, younger brother Tyl Woelber dreamed about winning state titles of his own. On a hot and breezy Saturday at Hamline Universit...
ST. PAUL -- Ever since he watched his sister, Bree, win state track and field championships before she graduated in 2011, younger brother Tyl Woelber dreamed about winning state titles of his own.
On a hot and breezy Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul, Tyl did it.
The Pipestone Arrows’ supremely talented junior captured first place in the Class A high jump, going 6-7 to confidently outmaneuver the field. Ottertail Central’s Eric VanErp placed second with a 6-5 leap.
“It’s amazing. It’s everything I thought it would feel like,” said Woelber. “I watched my sister Bree (win a championship) when she was in high school. And I wanted to do it, too.”
Woelber burst on the state track scene as a sophomore, where he earned four medals -- second in the high jump, fifth in the triple jump, fifth in the 4x400-meter relay and seventh in the 4x800-meter relay.
On Friday, Woelber placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 45-10. Then on Saturday, he not only topped the field in the high jump, but ran a leg on Pipestone Area’s third-place 4x800-meter relay team and second-place 4x400-meter relay team. As a result of the Arrows boys’ efforts, they placed third in the Class A team standings.
Woelber entered the high jump competition with the best leap (6-6) in the Class A field.
“I felt pretty confident. I still had a little bit of nerves. It’s a good thing,” he said. “After the first couple of jumps, the nerves went away.”
He didn’t accomplish his target. But he wasn’t complaining.
“Six-eight was the main goal. Right there at the end I just barely missed it,” he said.
Now, with a second straight strong performance at the state track and field meet, Woelber insists that, in his senior season, he’s not going to rest until he continues to squeeze every ounce out of his considerable abilities.
“Trying to do better than this year. More firsts,” he said.
Hills-Beaver Creek’s Zach Scholten placed 11th in the high jump competition, surpassing 6-1.
Saturday’s 4x800-meter relay finals were run in two heats. Pipestone Area’s foursome of Lucas Griebel, Matthew Kennedy, Woelber and Devin Tinklenberg won the first heat in 8:17.64. Griebel got off to a good start and was bunched with the leaders when he passed the baton to Woelber. Tinklenberg, with the anchor leg, smoothly brought the team across the finish line first.
In the second heat, Mora (8:10.75) and Fairmont (8:17.40) ran better times to finish first and second.
Windom Area, with Evan Wiens, Nickolas Green, John Irwin and Issac Tade, completed the race in 8:35.70, finishing 10th in the second heat.
All of the relay runners had to deal with a brisk headwind on the far turn before getting into their sprint with the wind at their backs.
“I just told myself to run through the wind. We all ran great sprints, too,” said Tinklenberg. “Just keep your head down and keep pushing. You know you’ll get wind at your back.”
Pequot Lakes captured the 4x400-meter relay in a clocking of 3:23.40. Pipestone Area, with Griebel, Woelber, Carter Nesvold and Tinklenberg, finished in 3:25.07. St. Peter was third in 3:26.33.
Another area runner who placed Saturday was Murray County Central sprinter Ethan Swanson, who finished seventh in the 200 meters with a personal best time of 22.69. Dawsen Cossalter of Esko finished first in 21.71.
Swanson, who is just a sophomore, won the Section 3A 200-meter race in 23.03. He was very happy with what he accomplished in St. Paul, though he did it while running on the outside in the eighth lane.
“Heck, yeah,” he said. “I broke 23 and that was my original goal to do today. I knew it was going to be fine because I didn’t have to fight through the wind on lane eight.
“All I wanted to do was do my best. Get new PRs (personal records). Have fun.”